University of Limerick paid out €1.9m to staff in severance deals, FOI shows

Posted in Legal issues on September 22nd, 2017 by steve

Ireland“The University of Limerick paid out more than €1.9 million in settlements to close to 60 former employees within the past decade, figures released under the Freedom of Information Act show. UL refused to comment on how many of those packages it sought sanction for in advance from the Department of Education and Skills, which it is obliged to notify before any severance is approved …” (more)

[Anne Sheridan, Limerick Leader, 22 September]

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NUIG set to commission Nuns Island master plan

Posted in Governance and administration on August 15th, 2017 by steve

Ireland“NUI Galway will commission a master plan for the Nuns Island area. The university has budgeted €250,000 for a ‘master plan and design project’ for its buildings at Nuns Island in the city centre. Sanction for the master plan was approved at a Governing Body meeting in February, minutes of which were released to this newspaper under Freedom of Information (FOI) …” (more)

[Dara Bradley, Connacht Tribune, 14 August]

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University of Limerick spent close to €1.5m on legal fees with firm Arthur Cox

Posted in Governance and administration, Legal issues on July 29th, 2017 by steve

Ireland“The University of Limerick spent over €2 million in legal fees in the past decade, with Dublin-based firm Arthur Cox receiving nearly €1.5 million. Figures released to the Limerick Leader under a Freedom of Information request show that …” (more)

[Anne Sheridan, Limerick Leader, 28 July]

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Doctor refused access to case files by University of Limerick to inform inquiry

Posted in Legal issues on July 1st, 2017 by steve

Ireland“A doctor who received a settlement of €209,600 after accusations of bullying at the University of Limerick has been refused access to files relating to his case by UL under the Freedom of Information Act …” (more)

[Anne Sheridan, Limerick Leader, 1 July]

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NUIG confirms ‘unusual’ payment of €175,000 to consultants

Posted in Governance and administration, Legal issues on April 25th, 2017 by steve

Ireland“NUIG President Dr James Browne has agreed it was ‘unusual’ that the School of Law paid €143,000 plus VAT for one consultancy firm for 22 months’ work. Dr Browne was responding to queries by Galway West TD Catherine Connolly at the Public Accounts Committee on Thursday, in relation to monies paid for professional services from consultancy, Results Through People Limited …” (more)

[Dara Bradley, Connacht Tribune, 24 April]

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Bullying, harassment, and cheats: FoI reveals college cases

Posted in Legal issues on April 18th, 2017 by steve

Ireland“One student was expelled from Dundalk Institute of Technology due to alleged disorderly conduct and sexual harassment against a staff member. The college said there was ‘possible criminal proceedings pending’ in a separate case involving two staff members and the alleged misuse of email …” (more)

[Noel Baker, Irish Examiner, 18 April]

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Irish Universities Have Seen a 22% Cut in Library Staff Since Recession

Posted in Governance and administration on April 11th, 2017 by steve

Ireland“Irish university libraries have seen an average reduction of 22% in staffing levels since the recession, with UCD experiencing one of the largest staff cuts. While the declines began to occur in the late 2008s during the last recession, staff numbers are still slowly dropping in some institutions or just stabilising at others. The drop in staffing figures was revealed from records requested from each university library released under the Freedom of Information act …” (more)

[College Tribune, 11 April]

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Mistakenly Stating Annual Income as €355 Reason Behind Trinity’s Rankings Exclusion

Posted in Governance and administration on April 3rd, 2017 by steve

Ireland“Information revealed under a Freedom of Information request shows that Trinity’s exclusion from the 2016 Times Higher Education rankings came after College recorded its annual income as €355 instead of €355 million. In revised rankings, released the following year, Trinity was retrospectively placed at 101st …” (more)

[Sinéad Baker, University Times, 2 April]

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Sexual harassment ‘at epidemic levels’ in UK universities

Posted in Governance and administration, Legal issues on March 6th, 2017 by steve

“Sexual harassment, misconduct and gender violence by university staff are at epidemic levels in the UK, a Guardian investigation suggests. Freedom of information (FoI) requests sent to 120 universities found that students made at least 169 such allegations against academic and non-academic staff from 2011-12 to 2016-17 …” (more)

[David Batty, Sally Weale and Caroline Bannock, Guardian, 5 March]

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FOI Reveals UCD has No Investments in Fossil Fuels

Posted in Governance and administration on February 1st, 2017 by steve

Ireland“The College Tribune can reveal that UCD currently does not invest in fossil fuel companies, according to documents viewed under the Freedom of Information act. This information was sought in light of a successful campaign led by Fossil Free TCD, which saw Trinity agree to divest its €6.1 million indirect investments in fossil fuel companies …” (more)

[College Tribune, 1 February]

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University College Cork must detail Apple support

Posted in Governance and administration, Legal issues on January 4th, 2017 by steve

Ireland“University College Cork has been instructed by the information commissioner to provide details of support it has received from Apple. The Office of the Information Commissioner (OIC) has ruled that the response of the university was inadequate to a request made under freedom of information legislation and ordered it to reconsider the request for such information …” (more)

[Seán McCárthaigh, Irish Examiner, 4 January]

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UCD Turn €10 Million Profit from On-Campus Accommodation Rent

Posted in Governance and administration on November 8th, 2016 by steve

Ireland“UCD brought in over €18 million in income from student residences in 2015 the Tribune can report. On-campus accommodation costs the college €7.7 million to run and maintain according to financial figures obtained under the Freedom of Information Act …” (more)

[College Tribune, 8 November]

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Over €7,600 in Expenses Paid out to college President Deeks and University vice-presidents

Posted in Governance and administration on September 24th, 2016 by steve

Ireland“The total amount of expenses claimed by the college President Andrew Deeks, and his vice presidents over 2014 and 2015 totalled to €7,669. President Deeks himself claimed €1,012 in expenses for 2014, and €945 in 2015. The figures for the amount paid out to the top tier of the University management were obtained under the Freedom of Information Act by the College Tribune …” (more)

[College Tribune, 23 September]

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University paid €130,000 to consultancy firm

Posted in Governance and administration on May 23rd, 2016 by steve

Ireland“NUI Galway has spent more than €130,000 for advice and services from a Dublin-based private consultancy. Athrú Consultancy Limited was hired by the city university for a variety of reasons over a three-year period …” (more)

[Dara Bradley, Connacht Tribune, 23 May]

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UCD receives over €1.8 million in exam repeat fees

Posted in Fees, access and admissions on April 1st, 2016 by steve

Ireland“Information obtained by the University Observer under the Freedom of Information Act has revealed that UCD received €1,853,455 in exam repeat and resit fees for the academic year 2014-2015. Furthermore, a total of 16 modules had a 100% failure rate in 2014-2015 …” (more)

[Eithne Dodd, University Observer, 31 March]

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The higher education freedom of information dilemma

Posted in Governance and administration, Legal issues on February 23rd, 2016 by steve

Scotland“During the past academic year, my university received 294 information requests under the Freedom of Information (Scotland) Act 2002. Of these, 60 requests came from journalists or journalism students (the latter often given this as a task by their lecturers). Others came from a variety of people or organisation whose reasons for asking were not always clear …” (more)

[Ferdinand von Prondzynski, University Blog, 23 February]

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UCD’s senior academic positions predominantly held by male staff

Posted in Governance and administration on February 16th, 2016 by steve

Ireland“Information obtained by the University Observer under the Freedom of Information Act has revealed a huge gap between the numbers of male and female academics currently in senior positions in UCD …” (more)

[Gráinne Loughran, University Observer, 16 February]

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122,000 animals in university lab tests in Ireland between 2012-2014

Posted in Research on February 1st, 2016 by steve

Ireland“Nearly 122,000 animals were used in tests at six of the country’s top universities over a three-year period. Figures obtained under Freedom of Information show Trinity College used the most animals for tests from 2012 to 2014, followed by University College Cork and NUI Galway …” (more)

[Aine Boner, Irish Examiner, 1 February]

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Delving into the record receipt for Trinity’s consultancy costs

Posted in Governance and administration on December 1st, 2015 by steve

Ireland“Final figures on Trinity College’s external consultancy fees, released earlier this month, show that the university spent €2.8 million to ‘change management’, over €2.1 million on financial and information systems, and over €91,000 on new graphic profile, during the three year period 2012/13 to 2014/15 …” (more)

[Greta Rosen Fondahn, Trinity News, 30 November]

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Nine Things We Wouldn’t Have Discovered If Universities Were Exempt From FOI

Posted in Legal issues on November 15th, 2015 by steve

UK“If Jo Johnson’s recently unveiled university reforms go ahead as planned, higher education institutions will no longer be required to respond to Freedom of Information requests.The Conservative government believes that if private companies aren’t subject to FOIs, universities shouldn’t be either …” (more)

[Lucy Sherriff, Huffington Post, 14 November]

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